"Survey Savvy" Reinforces a TQM Environment

Article

Levey, Diana   (1991, ASQC)   Northrop Corporation, Pico Revera, CA

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9654    May 1991    pp. 258-263
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Article Abstract

A survey is a miniature, self-contained continuous improvement process (CIP) that leads to and measures specific improvement goals. Managers in aerospace organizations can employ "survey savvy" to control change and reinforce a total quality management (TQM) environment. Because surveys offer a way to transform negative energy into positive energy, they can help turn employees' resistance to change into continuous improvement.

Formal surveys, which are designed to yield specific information, are tools for evaluating an organization's health and measuring the impact of changes over time. Surveys should be implemented in stages: (1) planning; (2) executing, (3) evaluating, (4) analyzing data; (5) developing "next" steps, and (6) preparing a feedback package.

Since managers in the aerospace industry typically lean toward an authoritarian approach, moving toward the participative, humanistic management philosophy of TQM requires adequate training. "Total" quality management implies that managers are responsible for more than managing tasks and meeting deadlines. Managers must learn to integrate the TQM philosophy into their work environments and make gradual changes in the corporate culture.

The information gained through well-designed surveys can give American aerospace companies a competitive edge. The aerospace industry should encourage surveys conducted by knowledgeable practitioners.

Keywords

Aerospace industry,Aviation industry,Data analysis,Surveys,Total Quality Management (TQM)


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